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Nick Cannon: I Gotta Make That Mariah Paper!

Nick Cannon: I Gotta Make That Mariah Paper!

You can’t accuse Nick Cannon of being lazy. The 32-year-old has a robust career as an actor, rapper, comedian, host, producer and DJ. He’s also raising two-year-old twins with superstar wife Mariah Carey.

I caught up with the busy star at a promotional event for Snapple, advertising partner of "America’s Got Talent," which he’s hosted for the past four seasons.

Check out this excerpt from our Q&A:

Farnoosh Torabi: Nick, you are wearing a lot of hats these days — hosting "America’s Got Talent," resurrecting "Soul Train," you are bringing back "Wild 'N Out." Some people call you an entertainer; I call you an entrepreneur.

Nick Cannon: You know what I call me? An "entrepretainer."

FT: What are some of the secrets to earning your success in this industry?

NC: Perseverance. As cliché as it sounds, success is not a destination, it’s a journey.

I had to constantly just get out there and push my brand and…not take no for an answer. It’s a business where you hear no more than you hear yes, but one where you can create your own opportunities and be not only a self-motivator, but a self-generator.

Also see: 30 Days to Financial Health

FT: I’ve heard you say in previous interviews that part of what motivates you is to make some of that Mariah money. 

NC: I gotta make that Mariah paper!

FT: What’s it like being married to a top-earning woman?

NC: A lot of people think I would go the other way and [say], “My wife, she’s got it, she’s a billionaire. I’ll just sit at home and watch TV.”  [Ed. Note: Carey's actual net worth has not been confirmed, but one website puts it at $510 million.] But it makes you want to work harder when you see someone with the work ethic like Mariah’s, who never stops, who’s accomplished so many things, but still wakes up every day and wants more out of life…not even financially, just wants to do more things and accomplish more things. It’s like “Wow, if she’s that driven, I gotta go just as hard.” We’re a house of driven individuals.

Also see: How I Retired at 30

FT: It takes a certain kind of man to be a team member in that relationship.

NC: You gotta be really secure with who you are to be able to stand next to someone like that with such a beautiful spotlight, you know?

FT: Did your ego ever take a shot, ever?

NC: I feel like I know how to keep my ego in check. I know when to present my ego, and I know when to step back and [realize] you know what, now’s not my moment. And that takes a lot to be able to strip yourself of that, away from your ego and still be confident and secure in who you are.

FT: Because I’m a financial nerd and our viewers love to hear about celebrities and their financial missteps… what would be the biggest piece of financial advice you would give yourself, Nick Cannon, when you were just starting out and earning the first big paycheck?

Also see: Celebrity Money Mistakes

NC: Buy property. Not jewelry and cars. Early on, you know, when you get money and you never had it before, you want to spend it on things that you see other people [who] you think are successful spend money on. And obviously you can never really go wrong with owning a piece of America. So whenever you can, have property in your name that you can pass on to your next generation. That’s kind of always going to be the best bet.

Tweet me your financial thoughts and questions @Farnoosh and use the hashtag #FinFit.